Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 4 Jude was directed to warn of what happens when the “beloved” do not contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. The first church I was called to pastor had a policy of shutting down their mid-week Bible Study and their Sunday School for the summer. I was not made aware of this until we moved to that church. I told them I wanted to keep those programs running year round because the devil does not take a holiday and we need to be grounded in the truth to be strong in the Lord. Some of the people said that I would find out that it was not “profitable” to have these things going in the summer because people go on holidays and attendance would be down. They had a different approach to the work of God than I had. They had a different view than the Bible has. We did keep those ministries going and God blessed our ministry in that church. Numbers do not tell the full story, but we did increase the attendance while we were there and we also were able to reach many children with summer VBS. It is important to run legitimate ministries that do not shy away from the Gospel.
God obviously knew there was a problem already in Jude’s day. There were certain men crept in unawares. One of the tactics that the devil has been quite successful with is getting lost people to infiltrate a true work of God. We as people cannot see the heart of a person. We can go by their testimony and we can also observe their actions. God is gracious and He does reveal the true nature of people over time. Sometimes very quickly and sometimes it takes a little more time. Some of those who creep in are more tolerant and exercise more patience to get what they want.
As we have stated before, no true church can run in a democratic manner. There needs to be room for people to express their views and to ask questions, however, God’s Word must dominate. When people get the opinion that they can overpower the Word of God by numbers, there is a real problem. Things have gone off the rails then.
Jude further stated that these men were before ordained of old to this condemnation. The Calvinist likes these types of verses. They use them to support their heresy. They skim over the verse and they say: “see, God has planned for certain people to be ordained to condemnation”.
The text tell us that there are men who are ordained to condemnation of old. What does that mean? Does God show us a book and chapter where He names men before hand that He has condemned to judgment in hell?
In the Old Testament God prophesied that king Cyrus as the king who would decree that the Jews could go back to their homeland and rebuild the Temple. That was a good thing. It was not a judgment. What God is telling us through Jude, is that the Scriptures warn of what will happen to those who reject the truth. He does not name certain people by name. He talks of anyone who would reject the truth. There is no hope for those who do not want to know and follow the truth.
We will look at these verses in greater detail later, but notice what Jude wrote in verses 17-18. Notice also what Paul was directed to write in I Timothy 4:1 and II Timothy 3:1. These verses and others simply talk of the times and the spiritual nature of humanity at certain times. God knows the nature of man. He knows that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little sin that is unchecked will build into a bigger issue.
Jude is directed by God to warn that those who would creep in to cause trouble, will face His wrath. They are not just playing around. No one should ever try to undermine God’s holy standard for His church. If a person does not like the teaching from God’s Word, there are thousands of apostate churches out there. Go and join one of them and wallow in the mud with them. Don’t try to destroy a true work of God.
The devil is not content with that. The devil wants to take over the world. He wants to be in charge. He wants to dethrone the God of Heaven. He is called the “god of this world”. God has declared that the devil will be cast into the lake of fire one day. There is no salvation for the devil or for those angels which chose to join him in his rebellion.
Those men who choose to believe the lies of the devil and who believe it is their purpose in life to destroy a true work of God, need to be reminded that they are indeed playing with fire. The consequences of that lifestyle are grave.
God told Jude to write that these men are ungodly men. They are not just off a little bit and need to be corrected. They are corrupt to the core. They have opportunity to be saved as all people do. However, they have chosen to dig themselves a deep hole from which they will not crawl out of.
These men turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.
Lasciviousness is “unbridled lust, shamelessness.” These people have seared their consciences and they are not ashamed of their evil ways. They do that by denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
There is a great danger of entertaining these deceivers. God knows that we cannot ignore this important warning. Those who want to join a church but are not in agreement with what the Word of God says will try to destroy the Work. There is a difference between not understanding something, but being teachable, and being entrenched in wrong teaching and seeking to convert others to your wrong doctrine. A true church is open to all people. However, the membership must be for those who are truly born again and who desire to walk with the Lord.
Again we are reminded that we should not be governed by numbers so that we tend to ignore the signs that God gives us about these types of people. The local church has bills to pay. The local church is dependent upon tithes and offerings to pay the bills. God knows what the legitimate bills are and He also desires to have a strong church in many places. He has a way of providing for the needs of the local church that is faithful to Him. If He shuts the door on an area, then He will make that known as well.
As long as a local church is in an area, it needs to be a city set on a hill. It needs to be a light shining brightly for the Lord. A compromised church is of no value. People may come, but they will not be blessed with the truth. The truth makes the sinner free and the truth builds up the saints.